President-elect Donald Trump is doing a little house cleaning when it comes to Barack Obama’s politically appointed U.S. ambassadors, telling them to hit the road by Inauguration Day.
While diplomats confirm that it makes sense for Obama-appointees to leave their post, one source labelled the move to remove them immediately upon Trump’s arrival as “quite harsh.”
A notice was sent out on December 23rd informing Obama’s ambassadors of the order.
Via the New York Times:
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition staff has issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, according to several American diplomats familiar with the plan, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.
The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements.
Ronald E. Neumann, a career Foreign Service officer who held ambassadorships in Algeria, Bahrain, and Afghanistan, said “I don’t recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, ‘Everybody out of the pool immediately.’”
Liberals are predictably furious that Trump is getting rid of Obama’s failed policies. Here’s just one typical example:
So Trump just fired EVERY diplomatic ambassador on Jan 20th. No nation will have an ambassador for months. https://t.co/XetegD6Yup
— ⛄Mike☃️ (@MBragiel) January 6, 2017
Perhaps that’s what America needs right now, especially when it comes to foreign policy – a clean, hard break from the failures of the Obama administration, and a fresh start under President Trump.
Either way, it’s clear Trump is interested in hitting the ground running once he is inaugurated, leaving Obama’s legacy firmly entrenched in the rear view mirror.
Cross-posted at the Political Insider